Mommying BabyT

Mommy T's adventures; bringing up Baby T

Category: Books & Learning (page 1 of 2)

It’s ‘All About Christmas’ this season

Christmas is my most favourite time of the year. Some of the fondest memories of my childhood have been the Christmases I spent in London, walking the high street drowning myself in the festive fervour. Everyone  around, young or old, white, black, brown, yellow or rainbow (haha) would have a big broad smile on their faces and hearts. Christmas was also the time we spent time decorating the tree, making DIY presents for each other, while my mom would cook up her special chicken curry – a far cry from the traditional roast but it was our special celebration nonetheless and we delighted in it and looked forward to Christmas very eagerly.

Once I got married and moved to our own nuclear setup, we made our own Christmas traditions – cooking up a sumptuous Spaghetti (If you’d like the recipe, pls visit my food blog from another life here) and watching our favourite Christmas time rom-com: Love, Actually.

And then came babyT and I knew I wanted to make Christmas time special for him too. He is of course too young to be enjoying cooking and feasting and watching movies. Yet I wanted to introduce Christmas to him in a way he knows best – via books, play and art and craft.

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Like a Godsend, Kajal Dharod sent me her latest book “All About Christmas” to read, indulge in and share with my readers. It couldn’t have come at a better time because it is a complete book to understanding the story behind Christmas and who Saint Nick was and why Christmas trees are so important to the celebration. What’s really special about this book is that it has activities designed around these concepts so that kids do really learn from it and have fun at the same time.

One of our favourite activities was decorating the Christmas tree with stickers. Yes, the Christmas tree and the stickers are all provided in this book. Look at what a great time we had…

Enthused by this activity, babyT has been telling all his friends, aunts and grandparents about the Christmas tree he made. I was a proud mommy to see that he too is beginning to enjoy the Christmas tradition of decorating the tree. Today when we were out shopping in the market he got very excited to see a real (faux) Christmas tree for sale and asked me if we could have one too. He even said he wanted to decorate it with yellow and blue balls like he did in the book All About Christmas.

The nativity scene is central to Christmas celebrations and for reasons unknown I have never invested in a nativity scene set. So I was really excited to see the DIY nativity set in the book All About Christmas. It is a set of triangular cones which are to be cut from the pages of the book and then two triangles are stuck together to make a cone. Although babyT is too young to do the cutting and sticking, and I had to make this for him, he had a gala time playing with his new cone-shaped toys. We even made a quick nativity scene like this one.

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The book is chock a block full of stickers, paintings to colour in and crafts and more stickers. 😉 It’s a great way to help us, busy mommies, whip out a fun-filled activity for kids especially considering that schools break for the festive season soon. There’s even a page dedicated to a letter to Santa and a “Naughty or Nice” monitor chart. Here’s a better look at some of my favourite pages.

The quality of pages and the stickers are excellent. With over 30 activities such as decorate a Christmas tree, fill the stockings, 400 stickers,  papercraft cutouts on good quality card stock, and everything Christmas. One of the most innovative features in the All About Christmas book is an exclusive interview with Santa Claus. I am sure that kids who know how to read will find this super amusing and learn a lot from it too. I am saving this story for Christmas eve and will end it with leaving a surprise under our Christmas tree for babyT to find in the morning. 🙂

This book would make a great gift for your little ones and other children in your lives. It is priced at Rs. 349 or $7.49 – really great value for money. You can buy All About Christmas here.

All About Christmas is written by Kajal Dharod and illustrated by Aaba Kamble. It is a book from the team at Your Learning Capsules who believe in adopting a 3 step methodology to make learning fun and interesting. Their approach is i) Learn: A proprietary song and video (a 2-minute capsule,) ii) Engage: Circle time with a Storyboard Activity Template to play along with the song, iii) Re-emphasize: Reinforce learning through unique arts and crafts, innovative games, storytelling, outdoor and sensory activities and more.

I received this book in return for a review. I did not pay for this book, but all the views and opinions stated here are mine and babyT’s 🙂

A Sailor went to sea sea sea: Learning about sea creatures

Babies and children’s minds are like sponges. The more you place them in suitable or conducive environments the more they learn and absorb. Look how cheekily I used the pun of a sponge on a blog post about sea creatures, but hey it is so apt here. With #babyT I did see how early exposure to flash cards helped him develop a rich vocabulary even before he turned 1.  He also enjoys reading books along with us and has picked up a lot of words and concepts from them. However, as he approaches 2, I saw how his appetite for learning was not getting satiated with just books or flashcards. He was asking for more stimulation and for learning to appeal to all his senses. Learning by touch and “doing” seemed to be the order of the day.

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Book love: Beans on Toast

Beans on toast!!! One of my favourite breakfast staples and now one of our favourite books. I bought this book only because it was about beans on toast. I paid little attention to the words or sentence or age it was suitable for. And when it arrived I realised it was just perfect for our family.

I love a big Sunday breakfast, which includes – lots of eggs, sausages, bacon (if I can remember to shop for it in time for Sunday.), roast tomatoes & veggies. However after a baby arrived in our lives, big breakfasts were a distant memory for us. But whenever we do manage to wake early on a Sunday or have all the ingredients on hand, a big breakfast is most definitely on the menu.

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Review: Quantum Cards by Brainsmith

BabyT has been an early talker and his vocabulary consisted of 20 odd words by the time he was 1. He could identify most vegetables, fruits, animals and birds. No, he was not born with this skill. It was something he acquired. How did we do this? Books, a lot of them. But largely it was do with Flash Cards. Our positive experience with Flash Cards convinced me that this was a great way to learn for babies. It stimulated the right skills and so learning happened very quickly. And when I heard of Quantum Cards by Brainsmith I was stunned to see that this was a well researched and thought about product. I was sure flash cards would do #babyT a world of good. But more than that I was intrigued to know how Brainsmith did their Flash Cards differently. Continue reading

Review: Matrika’s Creative Woman’s Journal – Write

When a fellow mommy in our Mom Blogger Chatter group told us about the Matrika’s Creative Woman’s Journal review contest I was intrigued. What a lovely way to market a product? But that was not all there was to it. The journals themselves were breathtakingly beautiful. I was truly spoiled for choice to select one, but finally settled on the Write series. The deep red colour with the golden polka dots and the feather plume on the cover page felt like the right choice for me and my new avatar as a blogger. Continue reading

Baby Books – Introducing Art to babies

Once you’re a mom … something happens to your brain. The nesting syndrome transforms into the hoarding syndrome and you end up with baby clothes, baby blankets, cloth diapers, toys, baby carriers and baby BOOKS!

BabyT has close to 100 baby books by now. Two shelf fulls and two big Amazon box fulls. We mostly read just 10 of those baby books very regularly, but we still continue to buy. We are #raisingareader after all and here is how we do it.

Baby books have been a great source of bonding for both babyT and us. Whenever he is feeling bored or wants to vie for our attention he runs to fetch a book from his playroom, insists to sit on my lap and says “Booka Booka” prodding me to keep my phone aside and read to him. As for me, if babyT is edgy and cranky and overstimulated, I know reading a baby book is what gets him to calm down and soothe himself again. Win for both parties. <3 Continue reading

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